Where in the New Testament is the commandment that changes the 7th day Sabbath to Sunday?
There isn't one!
We know that there was a change by the fourth century. Here's a look at some history to see what we can find.
First, let's examine the Augsburg Confession, 1530
, section #53-64.
Augsburg Confession Online Reference
At the council of Trent, Luther was giving the Catholic Church all it could handle and it looked like the Catholics were down for the count. But the Protestors (the Protestants) had a weakness in their argument about using the written word without tradition as their only standard: In their Augsburg Confession, in the year 1530, they wrote "the Observation of the Lord's day" had been appointed by "the Church" only
. This was where the Catholic Church would attack.
This is how I understand the Augsburg Confession as it concerns this issue.
"The Catholic Church has the authority to change God's commandments, replacing them with her man-made traditions as exemplified in her cancellation of the 7th day Sabbath, changing it to Sunday, which we, as the reformers, give our approval to."
In a speech on the January 18th
, 1562, the Archbishop of Reggio, representing the Catholic Church, made the statement that the church "
changed Sabbath into Sunday
The following is not presented to be an exact quote of what took place on that fateful day but a dramatic writing to present how I understood their (the Catholics) excellent strategy.
"The Protestants claim to stand upon the written word only. They profess to hold the Scripture alone as the standard of faith. They justify their revolt by the plea that the Church has apostatized from the written word and follows tradition.Now, the Protestant claim:
'We stand upon the written word only'
IS NOT TRUE!Their profession of holding the Scripture alone as the standard of faith is false.
PROOF: The written word explicitly enjoins the observance of the seventh day as the Sabbath. They do not observe the seventh day, but reject it. If they do truly hold the Scripture alone as their standard, they would be observing the seventh day as is enjoined in the Scripture throughout.
Yet they not only reject the observance of the Sabbath enjoined in the written word, but they have adopted and do practice the observance of Sunday, for which they have only the tradition of the Church.
Consequently the claim of 'Scripture alone as the standard', fails; and the doctrine of 'Scripture and tradition' as essential, is fully established, the Protestants themselves being judges."
End of Archbishop of Reggio quote
Now the Protestants had four choices:
(1) Find and identify from the New Testament the Scriptures that actually teach that the 7th day Sabbath has been done away with
Note: They didn't choose this one because it doesn't exist.
(2) Find and identify from the New Testament the Scriptures that actually teach that the 7th day Sabbath was changed to Sunday.
Note: They didn't choose this one because it doesn't exist either.
(3) Stop observing Sunday and return to observing the 7th day Sabbath.
Note: They passed on this option too.
(4) Surrender to the Catholic position of "the legal precepts in the Scriptures have been changed by the authority of the Catholic Church" .
They chose #4.
The best minds of the reformation realized that there was no Commandment to set aside the Sabbath or to change it to Sunday.
The Catholic's final words: "Therefore, you Protestants are condemned as being in willful rebellion to God's authority."
: The Jews implemented some traditions that made God's law void as well and Yeshua rebuked them and then quoted
at Matthew 15:8-9...
8 This people draweth nigh unto me with their mouth, and honoureth me with their lips; but their heart is far from me.
Err on the side of caution...
9 But in vain they do worship Me (the Father), teaching for doctrines the commandments of men.
Let's be sure that we follow no traditions that make void the commandments of God!
Two verses in Revelation say it quite nicely:
And the dragon was enraged with the woman, and went off to make war with the rest of her offspring, those keeping the commandments of God
, and having the testimony of Yeshua.
Here is the endurance of the saints: They keep the commandments of God
while maintaining faith in the finished work of Yeshua.
Can we show that the Sabbath in the Scriptures after the death of Yeshua was still in effect?
According to Luke as he recorded this years after the death of Yeshua:
"Then they returned and prepared spices and fragrant oils. And they rested on the Sabbath according to the commandment
." (Luke 23:56).
Some may argue that "they" did not know that the Sabbath commandment was done away with that quickly, but certainly Luke would have known as he penned this account decades after Yeshua died.
If Luke, a long-time companion of the Apostle Paul, knew that the Sabbath was a commandment that had been done away with, he would not have stated "according to the commandment
", because that would not be true anymore.
Instead, he might have said:
"Then they returned and prepared spices and fragrant oils. And they rested on what had been the Sabbath day, now done away with and changed into Sunday."
Was the Sabbath done away with by God's commandment?
Do some think that they can do away with the Sabbath by their tradition?
Do we think this has any merit?
In Acts 13:42 and 44, Paul had just finished a message in the synagogue. The Gentiles ask him if they could hear these words preached to them on the next Sabbath. If Sunday was in use, then Paul could have said, "You don't have to wait until next Sabbath to hear these words. Tomorrow is Sunday and that is when the Believing Gentiles have their services and you can hear them then."
Notice that IS NOT what Paul said.
42 And when the Jews were gone out of the synagogue, the Gentiles besought that these words might be preached to them the next Sabbath
44 And the next Sabbath day
came almost the whole city together to hear the word of God.
Final note on this subject
This small point is not meant to be an exhaustive evaluation of the subject of the Sabbath to Sunday. That is found elsewhere on this website.
See our "What About Scriptures" teaching on Acts 20:7, 1 Corinthians 16:2, and Revelation 1:10 to find out what these passages really say from the Greek.